Microsoft MSFT recently announced that it is adding four games to its Teams app, Microsoft IceBreakers, Wordament, Minesweeper, and Solitaire.
These games that have been built along with Microsoft Casual Games, an Xbox Game Studios division, will allow two to 250 people to play together.
The company believes that these games will help workers to take a break from their virtual office setting and re-energize themselves. This will promote better creativity and efficiency and will also foster team building and greater connections.
The company also cites data that indicates teams that play short video games together are 20% more productive than those that do other types of team building.
Microsoft Teams Adds New Features for Users
Microsoft has been making continuous upgrades in its Teams applications to provide an efficient working platform for users.
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In August, Teams rolled out a version of the app on the entire Mac lineup, including those with Apple silicon. This is likely to boost Mac users’ performance significantly, ensuring an optimized Teams experience even when using multiple high-resolution monitors during calls or meetings.
It also launched language interpretation that allows professional interpreters to convert what the speaker says into 40 different languages without disrupting the speaker's original flow of delivery. This breaks the language barrier and makes communication easier during multi-lingual meetings, allowing workers to collaborate hassle-free.
Microsoft plans to launch a new artificial intelligence-driven initiative that could make Teams calls sound better, especially in poor network conditions. It also plans to add sign language views and always-on captions to its Teams conference for people with speaking and hearing disability.
Microsoft Teams has been a vital part of the company’s growth ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as institutions shifted to a work/study-from-home setup. In the first quarter of fiscal 2023, monthly active enterprise users running third-party and custom applications within Teams increased nearly 60% year over year. More than 55% of enterprise customers who use Teams have also been seen buying Teams Rooms or Teams Phone.
Microsoft Teams Faces Stiff Competition
Despite the growing demand for Microsoft Teams, the company faces major headwinds from stiff competition from Alphabet GOOGL Cisco CSCO and Zoom Video Communications ZM.
Microsoft, which currently has Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), has lost 28.1% year to date compared with the Zacks Computer & Technology Sector, which was down 30.8% in the same time frame.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Alphabet shares have declined 31.7% year to date. Google Chat has started to roll out an update that allows users to schedule and join meetings, add virtual backgrounds, in-meeting chat and more, apart from the existing video calling features.
Cisco shares have lost 29.9% year to date. It released Webex Calling features in the Webex Suite to improve work flexibility, reliability and audio quality.
Zoom shares have declined 54.6% year to date. It launched a virtual co-working space called Zoom Spots, which is a video-enabled persistent space integrated within the Zoom platform, to help foster engaging discussions to keep colleagues connected.
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